Low-cost airlines grab charter passengers


Low-cost carriers have taken passengers from established charter airlines it has been claimed at the Future of Air Transport Conference.

"Low-cost carriers have not so much created new traffic as directed traffic away from the charter airlines," visiting professor at Cranfield University, Rigas Doganis, told the annual conference in London this week.

Civil Aviation Authority figures released earlier this year show that charter traffic from London to popular summer destinations in the Mediterranean fell by a massive 51% between 2000 and 2005.

As a result of this decline professor Doganis believes that no more than three major charter airlines will survive in Europe. However, this does not mean that the future of all low-cost airlines is secure, he told the conference. "The majority will go out of business. There is too much capacity in too many markets."

While it is mainly on the short haul routes to Europe that the charter airlines have been affected by the rise of the low-cost carriers, they have also suffered on some longer haul routes including the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Crete, and Turkey. The CAA's Survey of No-Frills Carriers revealed an average fall of 11% in charter passengers from London on these routes between 2000 and 2005.

Other speakers at the Future of Air Transport Conference included Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, Nigel Turner, chief executive of bmi, and Dermot Mannion, chief executive of Aer Lingus.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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Low-cost Airlines Grab Charter Passengers